House Passes Bill Requiring Transparency from Presidential Library Donors

This week, the House passed the bipartisan Presidential Library Donation Reform Act, sponsored by Tennessee Republican John Duncan and co-sponsored by Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings. Under current law, presidential libraries are built with private funds that can be raised in any amount, from any source, including foreign governments or corporations. This has lead to claims of conflict of interest. For

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Reform in the states: A round-up

This is part of a series examining ethics, transparency and campaign finance proposals in the states.  As presidential candidates criss-cross the country campaigning for the Oval Office, it is important to remember that states — those laboratories of democracy — are not waiting for Congress and the president to tackle their own ethics and political issues. Here’s a brief round-up of what

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Rep. Jim Gerlach slams the DNC on fundraising

This op-ed originally appeared in RealClearPolitics. As if Americans needed more reasons to fundamentally distrust their government, a package of nearly 20,000 leaked Democratic National Committee emails recently landed on doorsteps around the country in the form of news headlines.  Squirreled away in the messages are kernels of insight into how some Washington politicians and their staff continue to court the donor

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Money in politics at the conventions: a round-up

The two weeks that span the two rival conventions are some of the craziest days in all of politics. The party elite and loyal descend on a city for four days, while protesters, journalists and, of course, lobbyists crowd around them. This year has been no exception. Here is a round-up of the money-in-politics news that has emerged from Cleveland

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New polls agree: Americans are over money in politics

Amid the Republican Convention in Cleveland and the upcoming Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, the media and various organizations have been polling the public on what they think of the election. One storyline has consistently rung true: the people are fed up with the amount of money in our politics. First, let’s look at the youngest voting bloc — millennials —

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What De Blasio’s Sketchy Spreadsheet Means For New York

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, once a champion for money-in-politics reform, has been caught red-handed. The New York Daily News has acquired a spreadsheet from the mayor’s administration with a detailed list of potential appointments to city committees and boards—and it’s chock full of de Blasio’s donors. The list is littered with donors to de Blasio’s 2013 campaign,

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